Iowa father takes stand, blames mother for baby's death

Zachary Paul Koehn, charged with murder and child endangerment causing death. (Chickasaw County Jail)

An Iowa father on trial for murder in the gruesome death of his infant son has taken the stand in his own defense and blamed the baby's mother.

The Courier reported that 29-year-old Zachary Paul Koehn took the stand Friday, saying he "put his trust in the wrong person" in expecting the boy's mother to care for him. But under cross-examination from the prosecutor, Koehn admitted he took better care of his dog than he did 4-month-old Sterling Koehn.

Koehn is on trial for murder and child endangerment for the August 2017 death of the baby, who was found dead in a maggot-infested diaper and baby swing weighing only a few ounces more than his birth weight.

An autopsy showed the baby died of malnutrition, dehydration and an E. coli infection caused after he was left in a soiled diaper for up to two weeks.

The infant's mother, Cheyanne Harris, is also charged and faces a separate trial.

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